Police: Lacey Woman Left Dog to Die

A Forked River woman was charged with animal cruelty after allegedly leaving a dog to die in her residence

A Forked River woman was charged with animal cruelty after allegedly leaving a dog to die in her residence, police said.

Megan Otte, 21, was arrested after the Lacey Township Police Department responded to a Pensacola Road address to investigate a suspicious odor, police said.

Officer Paul Sullivan discovered a deceased dog located inside a dog crate at the home. The mixed breed dog, named Ruger, had been dead for approximately one month.

An investigation by Sullivan and Officer Paul Schlossbach of New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals found that Otte, the homeowner, moved from the residence and left Ruger alive in the cage. Sometime after she moved, the dog died, police said.

Otte was charged with animal cruelty and abandonment. She was transported to the Ocean County Jail with bail set at $7,500.

Lacey Township Animal Control Officer Michael San Juan also assisted at the scene.

Sue Mc June 29, 2012 at 05:09 PM
It wasn't A MISTAKE. She made a decision to leave that dog locked in a crate. If she did the same to a child, would you be lobbying for her to have another chance? Maybe volunteer at an orphanage? SHE MADE THE CHOICE TO LEAVE THAT DOG TO DIE. Plus, it's been indicated here that she's done this before with hamsters and a kitten.
Evernotice June 29, 2012 at 05:13 PM
No, we would not all be in Jail. We all dont kill animals or do drugs or steal or assault people or any other felonies you might read about here. I think that's your alarm clock going off.
Elaine Buzzeo June 29, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Well put Sue.
Dave Sleeper June 29, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Wrong. If this story is as the Patch depicted it, this woman should go to jail. and not for a short time. I hardly find it justifiable or noble to torture an animal out of one's own stupidity. We are responsible for the treatment of our animals. And when someone shows such indifference to laws of common decency, they should be punished, For a long, long time.
Jose's mom June 29, 2012 at 08:46 PM
i firmly believe karma gets everyone who deserves it good or bad. can't wait to read what it does to her :)
Elaine Buzzeo June 29, 2012 at 08:48 PM
@ Kevin. I'm working on it. I am in contact and trying to find out what judge will be handling the case or who is currently handling it. I should be able to get the answer on Monday and will link a petition addressed to the person on the case. I am aware of Care2.Com and will utilize that as soon as I get info on who is in charge. It was late today to get any answers. As I said I should have some answers on Monday. Again, if anyone wants to look me up I am on Facebook. I've been actively involved in the community for the past 16 or more years doing rescue. Thank you Kevin for your post.
donald hinman June 29, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Kevin you couldn't be further from the truth. I am entitled to my own opinion. And I hate the fact that she left that ANIMAL. But I'm not ready to leave this poor girl to rot in jail.
kevin sullivan June 29, 2012 at 09:26 PM
donny have you any idea how painful a death it is too slowly starve to death? if she had only left it in the backyard so neighbors maybe might have heard it barking but no it was in a crate that probably wasnt even big enough to stand up in . day after day feeling the pain and dehydration setting in. this ' poor girl" right now is chillin watching mtv on tv right now in an air conditioned cell getting 3 squares a day and will soon enough get released and do the same thing all over again in some town where no one knows what she did. ottie and those like her need to be accountable instead of given pity. yes you have the right to a clueless opinion . maybe if you had spent a month in that house watching that dog slowly painfully die it might get thru that thick noggin of yours just how bad this was . tell you what you know where she lived why not stop by and explain your opinion to her neighbors who didnt know where that horrible smell was coming from until police told them the horrible truth. i,m sure they.ll take your side and back up your well thought out opinion.
Elaine Buzzeo June 29, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Kevin I've tried for years to get through to people like Don. He suggests she serve time volunteering at Popcorn. I suggest he spend time volunteering at Popcorn, and animal shelter or just a day in the life of a rescue so he can see first hand the suffering that people like this woman cause. I think he is the one that needs to volunteer since he feels that in his words "It's only an animal." Perhaps, if he spent time volunteering he'd have a different outlook. On a daily basis I see the cruelty and the attitude of a person like Don sickens me almost as much as the person that commits the cruelty. Spend a day Don with an SPCA officer, walk their shoes and live with what they see on a daily basis. And, on the subject of neighbors this is why it's important for neighbors to be aware of what goes on. If you see something that isn't right, call someone. Too many are not willing to get involved. If someone had just paid a bit more attention perhaps this pup could have been saved. This is not to place blame on her neighbors but rather remind those in our community and other communities to get involved. Please, if you see an animal not being taken care of, a dog in a hot car, or left chained without shelter or shade or yes someone moving out check, call, get involved. We as caring human beings are the only voice they have.
kevin sullivan June 29, 2012 at 10:55 PM
i agree . i,ve seen dogs after they,ve been chained to a tree in the yard with a rancid bowl of water they can barely reach with the chains actually embedded under their skin that can only be removed surgically. dogs who had their mouths duct taped shut and used as bait dogs for gangstas who fight dogs for street cred. youll never get thru to those like donny and others because they could care less about an intelligent animal at the mercy of morons. right now on demand on hbo there is a show called " one nation under dog" . donny here should be tied to a chair with his eyes taped open and forced to watch it. he,ll find out the result of what happens when those with his mindset are left unchecked . i have the feeling even that wont open his eyes . thankfully for every don out there we have people who actually have a heart instead of black lumps of coal in their chests.i hope the patch will take some responsibility and keep following up on this story and this " poor misunderstood girl" who needs to learn a thing about life.
kevin sullivan June 29, 2012 at 11:06 PM
if you see a dog in a car on a day like today when its hot or a dog tied up in a yard in the sun with no shade, food or water dont be afraid to call the cops. you can ask them to leave your name out of it you want.
Dave Sleeper June 29, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Elaine Buzzeo June 30, 2012 at 12:11 AM
I feel the same Lee long. And yes Kevin thank you for reminding people that you don't have to give your name to help. An annonymous call is all you need.
kevin sullivan June 30, 2012 at 12:21 AM
yes elaine most people wont sign petitions from groups like the aspca or pet pardons etc because they think someone will be calling them asking for money. if you dont give someone your phone number no one is going to be calling you.
kevin sullivan June 30, 2012 at 12:23 AM
and lee you are very close to the mark. on a day like today the inside of a car can get hot enough to cook a steak on the dashboard . the 20 or 30 minutes a cop may take to arrive may be much too late.
BellaMia June 30, 2012 at 03:08 AM
I love what some of you wrote and how you love animals as I do... Me and my fiancé would rather go without just about anything if it came to our dogs welfare. And we have when she was sick a few yrs back to where we took loans from our bosses to pay for the vet... Not saying everyone is as fortunate as we were to be able to do this. But there are just so so many ways and options that are so mindless that could have saved this doggie... We work with a rescue of the breed we have and let me tell you we are all like a family, we've become great people friends as well... Some people just do not understand what a dog or cat can bring to someone's life. How therapeutic they are any animal! Kevin and Elaine you've said some amazing things and I truly agree with all of it. As well as lee. And people who don't understand this love for animals should volunteer somewhere and see... My parents rescued a dog sadly it wasn't a very good one we learned and of course couldnt leave this dog with the rescue they faked his vet records and he ended up having a stomach issue we never knew about until to late, but we know in our hearts we gave that dog the best 8mos of his life. Ok Lil off point sorry dogs are just so dear to my heart. But my question is, how did the neighbors not hear this dogs barks or cries, and waited till the smell... I know all my neighbors and my parents (with their dogs) hear our dogs?
Elaine Buzzeo June 30, 2012 at 03:23 AM
BellaMia, that was my thoughts too. This is why I posted about people in our community needing to be more involved. I'm sure that dog must have been barking and carrying on. Again, not pointing fingers but WE AS A SOCIETY AS A COMMUNITY NEED to be involved. If you think something isn't right, do something. As Kevin has mentioned you do not have to give your name, just report it and tell them you don't want to be involved, but please follow up. You can be the link between that animal living or dying. It is sad to think what this dog must have gone through dying slowly in a cage with no one.
kevin sullivan June 30, 2012 at 03:58 AM
there is no better truth and loyalty than that which you find in the eyes of a dog. the fact that this dog spent weeks in agony and in its mind was saying " why did i derserve this?" to the very end. i hope the patch follows up on this if not i hope you do elaine.
Elaine Buzzeo June 30, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Kevin as I said I will be in contact Monday morning with the prosecutor's office to see who is assigned to the case, and who we can address the petition to. Myself and a friend are working on it.
kevin sullivan June 30, 2012 at 04:09 AM
i looked you up on fb. i might have the wrong elaine. did you go to denton?
Lee Long June 30, 2012 at 07:44 AM
If i heard the dog cry, doors woulve been kicked down, theres no possible way she couldve forgot about her dog, she just didnt care what happened, im devestated this happened in my town 7500 bail is horribly low, should be no bail,
Sue Mc June 30, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Little frightening that she's a CNA.
WhyohWhy June 30, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Hey Elaine Piniet looks like its time to close this up.... People are getting out of control.... she is in jail and now its time for the courts to do their job. When you start saying things like you all are, puts you all at her level and makes you all sound a little bit over the edge ! Just saying....no need to reply to this!
patricia doyle June 30, 2012 at 02:38 PM
I'm in on the petition and also doing as protest in front of the courthouse for each of her proceedings. Just let me know, Elaine. This woman should NEVER be allowed to have an animal in her care ever again.
Elaine Buzzeo June 30, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Before this is closed I would ask for the opportunity to post a link to a petition to the judge asking for the max for this woman. I will not be able to do this until at least Monday when I can get in touch with the prosecutors office to see who the petition needs to be addressed to. Thank you.
MyOpinion June 30, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Nothing can justify leaving a dog in a crate to starve to death. Its a slow and painful death at that.. BS!!!! give the dog to a shelter or at the least let it go outside.. It would of had a 100% chance to survive by being left outside somewhere and not trapped in a crate.. She's not in Jail she is out on Bail. She is Not suffering like she made that poor innocent dog suffer..
Elaine Buzzeo June 30, 2012 at 05:52 PM
@ Kevin. No that is not me on FB. You will see a picture of my son dressed for prom. It will say from Point Pleasant, NJ. And my education is Rutgers / Paralegal studies. If you look through the photos you will also see my Yorkies. I do Yorkie Rescue.
Sue Mc June 30, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Class act.
Penelope June 30, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Bareback Avenger: I can't even get mad at your post. I just shake my head and laugh at you. Obviously, you are an immature, angry, uneducated simpleton. hahahahaha. sucks to be you!
Chrissy June 30, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Yes we do all make mistakes however leaving a live animal in a cage for an entire month is bigger than one mistake. Nothing can justify what she did and you are stupid to try and defend her.


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